|Real Citrine Pendant with Phantoms|
|Black Phantom Quartz or Tibetan Black Quartz|
On an interesting side-note, contrary to popular belief, the smoky color in quartz is not caused by carbon inclusions. Carbon inclusion in quartz are opaque, NOT smoky. Carbon does not make quartz smoky, but instead it creates opaque black spots or opaque phantoms, like in the photo of the Tibetan Black Quartz above. (This stone is also called black phantom quartz.) The color created by carbon is usually not even, but instead looks like black painted lines or spots of black coal.
|Smoky Citrine Specimen from DoodlepunkArt|
|Fake Citrine from http://www.the-vug.com/vug/vugfakes.html Notice how the color is an orangish yellow. Also, see the diamond shape? This crystal was broken from a cluster of amethyst crystals on a matrix, like the clusters shown down further in this document. Heat treatment changed the color to a bright orangish-yellow.|
|Smoky Citrine from Doodlepunk Art. Notice how the color is more of a greenish-yellow. Fake citrine will never range on the greenish side and real citrine will never be a bright golden yellow.|
Since amethyst is found in abundance, most "citrine" sold on the market is actually heat-treated amethyst. Unfortunately, with all the heat-treated amethyst flooding the market, it can be challenging to find real citrines. If you are looking at citrine for its metaphysical properties, be certain it is not heat-treated amethyst because it will not have the same healing properties as real citrine. Heated-amethyst "citrine" properties are almost identical to untreated amethyst.
|Smoky Citrine Pendant from DoodlepunkArt - SOLD|
Also, something else to consider when choosing between heat-treated amethyst and true citrine, is amethyst is very sensitive to light, so it will fade when exposed to high light until eventually the color will be gone completely if it is not carefully stored in the dark when not in use and carefully protected from direct sunlight. Real citrine is less photoensitive so the color will last longer than amethyst, although I do recommend storing it in the dark as well when not in use, because it will fade as well, just not as quickly. High temperatures will also fade citrine, so do not leave it in your car in the sun or steam clean it.
|A Genuine Smoky Citrine From DoodlepunkArt - Notice the parallel sides and darkness at base.|
|Real Smoky Citrine - Nearly parallel sides, the color is soft and earthy|
|Tibetan Smoky Citrine available at http://www.doodlepunkart.etsy.com Notice how the sides (M-faces) are close to parallel to each other.|
|Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst Cluster) - White at base and bright amber color.|
|Untreated Amethyst Cluster - Notice how it's much darker at the tips.|
|Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst Cluster) - See the orange color, dark tips and diamond shape?|
|Untreated Amethyst Cluster - White base, dark at tips, diamond shaped crystals grouped on a matrix.|
|Genuine Citrine showing Split Growth Formation - this is an example of a citrine "cluster". Notice how different it is from an amethyst druzy/geode cluster.|
Now let's talk about the shape of the individual crystals. The shape of a genuine, natural citrine crystal usually resembles a clear quartz crystal or a smoky quartz crystal - typically with long parallel sides or sides with a gradual taper as in a laser wand. The sides of a crystal that lead from the base to the termination are called the m-faces. Citrine, smoky quartz and clear quartz almost always have m-faces. You can see this shape in the photo below and in all of the natural citrine photos in this article. (Be sure to read the captions.) In the cluster shown above, the smaller citrine crystals are sprouting from the m-faces of the crystal - a very interesting formation.
By contrast, individual amethyst crystals most often have a very distinct diamond-like shape. There are no parallel sides leading to or tapering towards a termination. Another way to say this is that they often do not have m-faces at all. Instead, the termination faces meet "sides" which dramatically taper towards where it attached to the matrix. These "sides" taper in the opposite way, so they are thicker toward the point and narrow towards the matrix. These are not actually m-faces or sides. They are actually another termination that is embedded into matrix rock. For more images try searching "raw amethyst crystal" on google images to familiarize yourself with the typical amethyst shape. If a "citrine" resembles most amethysts in shape, then it is heat-treated amethyst, not natural citrine.
|Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - The diamond-shape, the dark tip with white base and the orangish-amber color are all dead giveaways.|
|Amethyst - See the diamond or dogtooth shape (indicating it was broken from a druzy cluster on a matrix) and the dark tip with the light base?|
|Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - See how there are no parallel sides leading to the termination? And again, an amber tip with a white base.|
|Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - More amethysts broken from a cluster, all with orange-ish/amber color indicative of heat-treatment. There are no parallel sides leading to terminations and the light areas are quite opaque white.|
|Amethyst - Same diamond shape crystals with white bases, broken from a cluster.|
There is something I have seen being sold for a very high price called "Ox Blood" or "Madeira" citrine. It is a darker, intensely saturated orangy-yellow color. This is higher temperature heat-treated amethyst. Rarely is natural citrine ever orange, and on the extremely rare occasion that it is, there are other minerals involved that cause the orange color, and the results look quite different from the any of the images of fake citrine that I have posted.
|Real Smoky Citrine Sold by DoodlepunkArt|
- Natural Iron Citrine - Yellow crystals colored by (irradiated) iron built into the crystal lattice which were exposed to heat from a natural source at some point during its formation. These would have been amethysts if they had not been exposed to natural heat. This is a very rare occurrence. Healing properties are similar to amethyst or heat-treated amethyst.
- Heat-treated Amethyst - Amethyst crystals (colored by irradiated iron built into the crystal lattice) that turned yellow after being exposed to man-made heat. This is a very common stone with healing properties are similar to amethyst.
- Aluminum Citrine, or simply Citrine. Contains no iron and doesn't require heating for its yellow color. Healing properties are very different from those of amethyst. It is a true manifestation stone which activates the solar plexus chakra. This is a very rare stone.
Natural citrine and smoky quartz are colored with aluminum and lithium, which are naturally irradiated. This is why citrine and smoky quartz have been found at the same mine. Amethyst and aluminum citrine aren't usually found together in the same location. Ametrine on the other hand may or may not be natural. I'm not sure. I have seen no significant evidence proving that it exists naturally. I've read that it is simply amethyst that was heated until it turns yellow, areas were masked with a substance such as lead, then it was exposed to radiation, which turned the unmasked areas back to its original purple color. However, I have seen no significant evidence suggesting that all ametrine is manipulated my man either. I suspect that if it does actually exist naturally, it is extremely rare, and that most of what is out there is either man-made through a heat/re-irradiation process of amethyst, or is simply iron-stained amethyst (amethyst with an orange coating of iron oxide dust on the outside.)
|Genuine Pale, Medium and Smoky Citrines From My Collection|
|Tumbled Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst)|
|Citrine Sphere Pendant SOLD at DoodlepunkArt|
|Smoky Morion Citrine With Phantoms Pendant SOLD at DoodlepunkArt|
|Smoky Morion Citrine Key Crystal with Phantoms|
These etsy items from other sellers are genuine citrine as well:
(Please note - there is an updated list of other vendors' items after the addendum at the end of this article.)
|Raw citrine pendant sold in my store. Notice the phantoms that show different stages of the crystal's growth. This is a very large and rare specimen mined in China.|
I went to a gem and jewelry show this weekend. There was a vender selling gorgeous rough gemstones for faceting at wholesale prices. They were charging by the gram for the raw material. They called the citrine that was the color of the stuff I've got "Lemon Citrine" and were selling it at $4/gram. They were selling a very intense and saturated amber/yellow citrine at $6/gram. Some of these pieces were whole crystals and they were definitely NOT amethysts. I don't remember where they came from. The crystals were long and straight like clear quartz, not the dog-tooth shape of amethyst, and there was absolutely no fracturing that occurs with the heat process, so I am 100% certain they were the not heated, though I have never seen it that color in person before. The Quartz Page has some examples that approach orange in color, one from Brazil and the others from Kazakhstan and Madagascar, however the color was even more bright. It was quite amazing and definitely not the typical citrine color. The saturation in color in these specimens was perfectly even and practically free of inclusions. I am sure this is why the price was so high. This is the first time I have ever seen the real thing so perfect in the rough form. AMAZING STUFF for faceting.
On another note, last night I was perusing through etsy's "unheated citrine" items and stumbled upon a woman calling herself a sage who is selling the prime example of heat-treated amethyst. She states that it is untreated, but it is obviously heat-treated amethyst. It couldn't be more obvious. The shape is dog-toothed, the color is burnt orange, there is tons of white, the tips were dark and the base was opaque white and there was the telltale crackled appearance of a low budget and haphazardly performed heat-treatment. I assumed she did not know the difference, so I sent her this message:
"Hi. I stumbled across your stones. I'm really sorry to inform you of this, but it is heat-treated amethyst, not untreated citrine. I just thought you should know. Good luck.
She wrote this back to me:
"Jen, thanks! I actually teach a course on stones and discuss the differences between HT amethyst and citrine. Some may not know, however, so it's good that you're aware and spreading the info. All of my tumbled and my raw pieces that are not points are untreated. I buy directly from the mines in Brazil.
I'm really confused because there was only one photo for the listing and the stones were all heated amethyst points. I got a sick feeling in my gut when I read her message. I'm not sure if she is a liar or just uninformed. I can't understand why her photo is of heated amethyst, but what she claims to be selling is real, unheated citrine. I think people should be educated about what they are selling, and be certain that the claims they make are accurate. I find it disturbing that she is soooo clearly wrong and is "educating" people. I feel a little, I don't know, dismayed and...um...well irritated. I really don't like it when people self-proclaim their guru-ness, then dole out bullshit like it should be faceted and set in jewelry.
Please BE VERY LEERY, folks. Check out The Quartz Page if you want to read more a more technical and science-y explanation of citrine. This guy really knows his stuff.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/162681593/citrine-necklace-gemstone-necklace (I'm pretty sure this is real.)